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How to Comply with Nunavut’s Language Acts: A Handbook

There are specific requirements for businesses and organizations that offer these particular services due to their importance. This includes providing written and oral communications to the public in the Inuit language in all of the following formats • • • • • • •

All notices Warnings Instructions directed to users or consumers of the service Monthly bills Invoices Other similar demands directed to persons who may be Inuit Language speakers The other communications that the Commissioner in Executive Council considers to be appropriate as the result of their essential nature or important consequences for individuals.

Exceptions to the Acts

WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO BE IN COMPLIANCE? Items to be Translated into the Inuit Language Advertising Under Part 1 s.3(1) of the ILPA, Inuit language text used in posters and commercial advertising, whether syllabics or roman orthography, MUST be at least as prominent (the same size) as any other language used. Signage

The ILPA give the Office of the Language Commissioner and the Nunavut Court of Justice the power to reduce a requirement under to the Act for a private sector organization, and substitute a less difficult requirement for communication or services in the Inuit Language. 3 However, a business would have to demonstrate:

Under Part 1 s.3(1) of the ILPA, Inuit language text, either syllabics or roman orthography, MUST be at least as prominent as any other language used in public signs, including emergency and exits signs.

Most grocery and department stores have categories of food and/or items listed, whether at the beginning of an aisle or posted on the shelves. These are considered “messages to the public”, and must be in the Inuit Language, as well as any other language.


That the organization is established for purposes relating primarily to the heritage, expression, strengthening or promotion of a non-Inuit linguistic or cultural community; or That compliance would otherwise result in “undue hardship.”

To establish whether or the compliance with the ILPA would involve “undue hardship” , the Office of the Language Commission would review such factors as: 4

• • • •

Any issue involving the health and safety of a business owner, staff, or its clients; Any significant impairment of important objectives, functions or activities of a business; An adverse impact on the ability of a business to meet contractual obligations; and The size, efficiency or viability of a business.

If a business is going to be negatively affected in any of these ways by the ILPA, the Language Commission may consider making an exception for that business.

One thing that grocery stores may consider as part of their Language Plan is a binder listing ingredients of a product in the Inuit language. This could help people who check ingredients because of food allergies and/or for other medical reasons. Bills and Receipts “Thank you for shopping…” and any other public messages that are printed on receipts should be printed in the Inuit language. Monthly bills, invoices, notices, warnings, and instructions for services, and any other similar information must be provided in the Inuit Language if you deliver specified services, or fall under Part 1, s.3(2) of the Act. Reception The ILPA requires that businesses offer reception and customer services in the Inuit Language; that’s the responsibility of each business. This means that when a client enters a store or place of business, or calls on the phone that they have a right to be spoken to in Inuktitut. Client communication If a customer or supplier contacts an organization or business with a request in one of the recognized languages, the organization or business should have the capacity to respond in that language.



Replacing a legal requirement with another one that is less challenging or difficult to achieve Conditions that are hard to survive in

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NEDA: How To Comply with Nunavut's Language Acts - Handbook - ENG  

Official Languages Act When Nunavut was created in 1999, it inherited the Northwest Territories Official Languages Act. While it dealt with...